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Top 10 Most Sustainable Cities

ACEEE Ranks Most Energy-Efficient Cities

Here’s where you want to live if you drive an electric car. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has been measuring the energy-efficiency of the 51 major American cities for several years. Among the criteria to be a top pick is an active transportation policy that is designed to make their cities more compact and closer to transit options, shifts to efficient modes of transportation, transit investments, efficient vehicles and vehicle infrastructure, and energy-efficient freight transport.

This year’s rankings were just released and there are some surprises. Here are the top 10:

  1. Boston
  2. New York City

    EVSE in Boston

    EV charging aids to a cities sustainability score (here in Boston)

  3. Seattle
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Portland (tied for #4)
  6. Austin
  7. Chicago
  8. Washington, DC
  9. Denver
  10. San Francisco (tied for #9)

In addition to their transportation activities, cities were judged on their local government efficiency, community-wide initiatives (for energy diversification and decentralization), building policies (stringent energy codes and incentives) and efficient energy utilities.

Another group of cities were cited as those showing the most improvement, including San Diego, Kansas City, Phoenix and Orlando (LA was also among the most improved).

Among the actions the cities’ representatives called out as reasons for their success were using renewable or cleaner-burning fuels in city vehicles, boosting bus service and light rail, and adding infrastructure like electric vehicle charging stations.

At the other end of the list, five cities were noted as most in need of improvement—Hartford, Memphis, Detroit, Oklahoma City and Birmingham.

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About Author: Michael Coates

is editor and publisher at Clean Fleet Report and an internationally recognized expert in the field of automotive environmental issues. He has been an automotive editor and writer for more than three decades. His media experience includes Petersen Publishing (now part of The Enthusiast Network), Green Car Journal, trade magazines, newspaper and television news reporting. He currently serves on the Board of the Western Automotive Journalists.

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